Standard girls’ and women’s clothes for centuries were a dress and skirt with blouse. Designs for special occasions and celebratory events were made within these clothing kinds.
In the West, women achieved independence and careers around 1910. Mass-produced apparel made women’s fashion accessible, inexpensive, and varied. Before, only the rich could afford fashion.
As women gained more rights and autonomy in society and public life, they needed their clothing to reflect their new role. New fashion styles were needed as people gained self-esteem and wanted to express their personality.
In the “Crazy Twenties,” women’s skirts suddenly became ankle-length. First, women realised their legs were worth showing off. Dresses and skirts became ankle- or knee-length.
Corselets were replaced with flattening brassieres. Instead of emphasising the waist, loose sitting belts were used to create a curveless appearance. The “Boyish Look” revolutionised women’s fashion and society.
“The bob” was the first short hairstyle in women’s history. For many, it was a sign of freedom from long hair; for others, it was just more convenient.
Working ladies and girls wore suits and sweater-and-skirt ensembles. Suits were a signal that women were seeking a self-determined role in a male-dominated environment. Straight-cut trend lasted a decade, and traditional attire was liberated in 1930.
1930s ladies ditched straight-cut clothes for a more feminine look. Slim lines and a natural waist were favoured. Again, feminine contours were highlighted. For nearly a decade, skirts and dresses were mid-calf, or “Midi.” By the end of the 1930s, hemlines were 6 inches below the knee. Padded shoulders hinted at 1940s fashion.
In the 1940s, women aspired for more fashion attention. Because males went to war, women replaced men in industry and service industries. Women raised their children and ran the country. They took on male-only roles. The outfit was simple and meant to last. The most eye-catching departure from prior fashions was the padded square shoulders, a signal for these years: a woman had to stand her ground and needed bigger shoulders to take the strain. Just above-the-knee skirts and dresses had a tiny waist. The skirt-and-jacket suit was fashionable.
Men’s pants become women’s pants. A attractive female actor in a suit and pants produced the “Marlene Dietrich Look” The waistband pants were side-zipped. Designers never considered a fly for women’s pants; it was unthinkable. Pants took the Western world by storm and are now huge fashion pieces.
“New Look” replaced wartime “utility fashion” in 1947. With males back, feminine dress returned. Christian Dior’s “New Look” was accepted because women aspired to look lovely and desired. Dresses, jackets, and suits had rounded shoulders, emphasised bust lines, and a defined waist. Half-circle skirts and dresses were trendy. Designs ranged from above-the-knee plaited skirts to calves-length dresses.
Teenage girls’ fashion originated on American streets. End of the 40s fashion included Bobby socks, knee-length skirts, and sports sweaters. Fashion quickly found a new target audience.
Teens felt unlike their parents. Rock and roll, the film industry, TV, and magazines in the 1950s confirmed this feeling, as parents rarely understood or approved of these trends. The fashion business satisfied these teens’ desire to stand out. Teenagers wore jeans, T-shirts, leather, and denim jackets. Young people’s decision-making rights increased mall and boutique fashion variety.
50s fashion altered substantially. Collections lasted a year, not a decade. Full-circle ruffled skirts with starched petticoats and the popular dirndl garment were offered. The 1950s gave ladies new, dashing patterns. Cotton skirts with palm trees, a beach, and a sunset printed all over or charming polka dot 34 pants accentuated a nice form. After hunger and fear, Paris’ creativity bloomed. Western Europe and America lived fully.
1960s fashion quickened. From the “Marlene Dietrich Look” to the miniskirt’s triumph today. Girls wore see-through batiste Indian shirts without bras and long skirts or velvet bell bottom pants with embroidered tops, exposing their bellies. Teenagers and dads alike wore jeans. Mini-skirts, ankle-length skirts, figure-hugging narrow skirts, and suits with rainbow-colored blouses were all in style.
Mid-1970s tried a more conservative approach. Convincing women to choose a mid-calf skirt over a tiny skirt failed badly. Since then, the fashion industry has provided both.
Since the late 1970s, designers have created children’s fashion. Children can choose from a variety of styles and trends and have a say in how they’re clothed.
Fashion mirrors social roles and trends. It expresses people’s personalities and self-realization. It seems to reflect how far these groups may express themselves freely and creatively.
Fashion writer Billy Horner. This article may be reprinted in its entirety, including all material, without permission. Kids Clothes and Girls Clothes